1. 72h (3 day stay) visa on arrival
2. Regular Tourist Visa. All foreign visitors need a visa
3. Helsinki single entry tourist visa
4. Visa Processing
5. Visa Registration and Common Problems
Happy news for tourists:
newly established 72 hour visa on arrival to
St. Petersburg international airport "PULKOVO -2", also Finish - Russia border crossing "Torfianovka" and "Brusnitchoye". This new rules becomes valid since the end of May 2001. All you need is to pay $25 on arrival.
"Our initiative was approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, and now what we have to do is to solve some technical problems"- said deputy governor of St. Petersburg Gennady Tkachev. "All the details will be cleared up a week later" ("Business Petersburg" daily Newspaper, 15 May 2001)
In Moscow: you can buy the same 72h visa on arrival to "Sheremetyevo-2" International airport.
On the strength of above, our advise is to check it again at the Finish Embassy before to leave your home.
Nevertheless, if you find yourself in Finland or Sweden, it seems very convenient to make a weekend trip by car and spend
3 days in St. Petersburg.
The car is helpful to leave Russia in time.
It is only 400 km from Helsinki to St. Petersburg.
Regular Tourist Visa. Almost all foreign visitors need a visa.
Visitors must apply for a Russian Tourist Visa at the Russian Consulate. You will need to have a visa support letter
(i.e., an invitation) from a receiving party (Russian tourist company, hotel, or private person). To apply for an invitation, you will need to supply the following data:
a) Date of arrival
b) Date of departure
c) Means of arrival (air/train/auto/bus/ship)
d) Cities to be visited
e) Full Name
g) Date of birth
A Russian visa is a passport sized
document. A visa lists entry and exit dates, your passport number,
children (if any) traveling with you, and type of visa (tourist or business).
A visa is also an exit permit, and if you lose it
(or overstay), your leaving the country can be more difficult than your entry into the country.
A tourist visa is issued to tourists who have booked accommodations in Russia for non business reasons.
Typically, this visa is issued for a maximum of thirty days. A tourist visa is the best choice when you know exactly where and how long you will be staying in Russia and will not be
diverting from your planned itinerary. Officially, you must have a confirmed accommodation or transit information for every night that you will be in the country.
You can receive double entry tourist visa support from some (but not all) Russian consulates, but such a visa is more expensive and you must have the exact dates of your entries into and your exits from Russia. Once you have arrived in
St. Petersburg, you may extend your visa for a limited
amount of time, if necessary for a maximum of 30 days.
single entry tourist visa
If being in Helsinki, you don't need to receive an invitation to get visa. You go to travel agency, fill up the application and pay ~$30. You'll get the visa in a 5 working days:
RTT Matkapalvelut-travel, Lähialuematkat ,RTT matkapalvelutagency ,Finnsov.
4. Visa Processing
Some Russian consulates may want to see an
original of your invitation and therefore it may not accept a fax copy
of the visa support letter. (Please note that express mail can take from
three to ten days.)
Your receiving party will have to send a copy of the invitation to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and you must not alter your visa support invitation in any way.
If there is a discrepancy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not issue the visa. You must process your own visa.
To obtain your Russian visa, please give the
Russian consulate your original valid passport together with (a) photocopies of both your passport and your approved visa support invitation,
(b) a completed consular questionnaire,
(c) three passport size photos, and
(d) consular fees.
Please contact the Russian Consulate
in your country for a consular questionnaire and information concerning
consular fees. In the USA we do not recommend the Russian consulate in
Washington, D.C. Many people have had problems getting their visas from this consulate on time. We can recommend the San Francisco, Seattle, or New York Consulates.
Registration and Common Problems
To avoid late registrations fees (about $15), you should register your visa within three working days after your arrival.
If you should leave the country with an unregistered
visa, you may be fined by the Russian customs officials. This fine
is totally subjective. The officials may or may not fine you, and
the amount of the fine is subject to their discretion.
Furthermore, you will not be allowed to leave the country with an expired visa. The Russian customs officials will send you back to St. Petersburg, and you will have to pay a fine to get an exit permit. Many of the overnight trains from
St. Petersburg and Moscow to the Baltic countries cross
the Russian border after midnight. If you should take one of these trains, make sure that your visa does
not expire at midnight before you reach the border.
Otherwise, you may have problems in leaving the
Russian Embassy - Washington DC
Russian Consulate - San Francisco
Russian Consulate - New York
Russian Embassies & Consulates Worldwide @ Embassy World
Russian Embassies Worldwide (Cyrillic)
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
US Citizens Foreign Entry Requirements 2000
World - Embassy and Consulate Directory
Visa Requirements Worldwide
USSR-NIS Russia: Q&A Message Board Create a card
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